If you’re an expatriate working or planning to work in Saudi Arabia, you’ll be familiar with Iqama. So you should know how to check the iqama expiry date- a residence permit that’s essential for legal staying and working in the country. Your employer usually handles the process of obtaining and renewing an Iqama for you. But it’s your responsibility to ensure that your Iqama is valid and up-to-date. Failure to abide by this can attract fines and other penalties, making it harder for you to live and work in the country peacefully.
Checking your Iqama expiry date is an essential step you can take to avoid penalties and ensure that you renew your Iqama on time. In this blog post, we’ll guide you on how to easily check your Iqama expiry date and avoid fines.
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What is an Iqama, and why is it critical to check its expiry date?
Iqama is a residence permit that’s issued to foreign workers to enable them to live and work in Saudi Arabia legally. It is issued with an expiry date, and after that date, it must be renewed. Your Iqama serves as your identification and is needed for everything from opening a bank account to receiving medical treatment. This is why it’s critical to check the expiry date and renewal process to avoid any unnecessary interruptions to your life as an expatriate in Saudi Arabia.
The consequences of letting your Iqama expire
Once your Iqama has expired, you’ll have up to three days to renew it. Failing to do so will result in penalties, fines, and potential deportation. The charges may vary based on the duration of the expiry period, the frequency of expiry, and other factors. Here’s a breakdown of the penalties.
– First-time offenders are charged SR 500 ($133) for every month that their Iqama is expired.
– Second-time offenders face deportation, and their employers are not allowed to rehire them in the country. Thus, they must wait two years before applying for a new visa. You can check here your visa status. Offenders may also be required to pay a fine of SR 1,000 ($267) per month for the period their Iqama expired.
– Third-time offenders are deported, and they are banned from entering the country for a minimum period of five years.
It’s essential to renew your Iqama before it’s expired to avoid these penalties and ensure that you can continue living and working in Saudi Arabia without interruption.
How to check your Iqama expiry date in a few easy steps
Checking your Iqama expiry date is straightforward and can be done in a few easy steps. There are two methods: checking through the official government website or using the Absher app.
Checking your Iqama expiry date online
The Saudi government has a dedicated website where you can check your Iqama expiry date—the Ministry of Interior’s portal. To check your Iqama expiry date using your Iqama nymber or Border Number, follow these steps:
- Visit the Ministry of Interior’s portal and select the “Individuals” option.
- Enter your Iqama or Border number.
- Select “Query Iqama Expiry Service.”
- Enter your date of birth. This can be in Hijri format if you don’t know your Hijri date then you can convert English to Hijri format.
- Enter the captcha numbers and click ‘Next’
You can now view your Iqama expiry date, as well as other personal information regarding your Iqama.
Checking your Iqama expiry date through the Absher app
The Absher app is a mobile app that offers fast and easy access to government services. To check your Iqama expiry date through the app, follow these steps:
- Download the Absher app from the App Store or Google Play Store
- Login to the app using your Iqama number and password
- Once you’re logged in, select the “My Account” option
- Scroll down the page to the “Summary” section and view your Iqama expiry date.
The Absher app offers a more convenient way to check your Iqama expiry date, as it’s available on your mobile device.
Check Iqama through SMS from mobile
Another way to check Iqama via SMS is to send an SMS to your mobile operator.
How to check Iqama through SMS is discussed below:
- Jawraa and Lebara users, type in ‘ID’ and send it to 1755
- mobily users, no need to type any word just simply send a blank SMS to 616166
- Sawa and STC users, type 9988 and send it to 900
- Virgin Mobile users, send a blank SMS to 309985
- Zain users, send a blank SMS to 700123
Tips and reminders to avoid fines and penalties
Now that you know how to check your Iqama expiry date let’s take a look at some tips and reminders to keep your Iqama valid and avoid any penalties.
Setting up an automated reminder for your Iqama expiry date
We all get busy, and sometimes, it’s easy to forget essential dates like your Iqama’s expiry date. That’s why it’s essential to set up reminders to alert you when your Iqama is about to expire. You can use your phone’s calendar or other reminder apps to set up alerts a few weeks before your Iqama expires, giving you ample time to renew it without any fines.
Renewing your Iqama before it expires to avoid fines and penalties
The most effective way to avoid fines and penalties is to renew your Iqama before it expires. Employers usually handle the Iqama renewal process, and it’s vital to keep in constant communication with them to ensure that they’re on top of things.
If your employer has not started the renewal process even though the expiry date is approaching, you can bring this to their attention. And can ask for an update. Don’t forget to keep track of the renewal process, and ensure that everything is complete before the expiry date.
In conclusion, checking your Iqama’s expiry date is essential for every expatriate in Saudi Arabia. Failing to do so can lead to fines, penalties, and even deportation. However, with the help of the information provided in this blog post, you can easily check the expiry date of your Iqama. And you can take proactive steps to ensure that you renew it on time, thus avoiding any unnecessary inconvenience.